Atherton: Peninsula Clean Energy a step closer to reality

Atherton council casts first vote to join the group

The move to bring clean energy to San Mateo County moved a little closer to reality on Wednesday night when the Atherton City Council cast the first vote needed to join the Peninsula Clean Energy joint powers authority, which will offer electric energy from renewable resources to customers in member communities.

"It's an opportunity for us to be part of something that will save our environment," said Mayor Elizabeth Lewis.

"It's a great program and we're really excited about it," said council member Bill Widmer. The vote was unanimous.

When it meets in January, Atherton's council will vote on final adoption of the ordinance that would make the town a member of the Peninsula Clean Energy joint powers authority. Other local communities, including Menlo Park, Portola Valley and Woodside, have indicated interest in joining the group.

Peninsula Clean Energy will buy power from renewable resources that will be delivered and billed for by Pacific Gas & Electric. Details of what plans will be offered will be determined later. Customers will be able to opt out of the plan and remain with PG&E. They will probably be able to choose to pay slightly more to get a higher percentage – or all – of their energy from renewable resources.

Joining the group should help local communities meet state mandates to lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

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